LivingSocial’s site hacked, data stolen

Hashing and salting could have saved 50 million passwords, including yours


If you are a LivingSocial member do not wait ANY further. Change your password now.

This weekend, the group buying website was hacked and it is believed that almost 50 million user data could have been stolen.

Chances are that your personal details including emails and passwords could be among them.

But LivingSocial says its advanced security system could have saved the day. Its policy to hash and salt all stored data makes it even mode difficult for the hackers to decipher.

In its statement the company said none of the credit card information is lost.

“LivingSocial recently experienced a cyber-attack on our computer systems that resulted in unauthorized access to some customer data from our servers….the database that stores customer credit card information was not affected or accessed,” the company said and added that the information accessed includes names, email addresses, date of birth for some users, and encrypted passwords.

Click here to access the company statement and change your password:

The company uses enhanced security measures to store important customer details.

The company first hashes the data, using algorithm and it is then salted further using random characters making it much more complicated for the data thief to unscramble.

Providing additional details it says, “LivingSocial never stores passwords in plain text. LivingSocial passwords were hashed with SHA1 using a random 40 byte salt. What this means is that our system took the passwords entered by customers and used an algorithm to change them into a unique data string (essentially creating a unique data fingerprint) – that’s the “hash”. To add an additional layer of protection, the “salt” elongates the password and adds complexity. We have switched our hashing algorithm from SHA1 to bcrypt.

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